The IRISPen is a portable scanner and OCR software bundle that allows you to scan and recognise text on the move. It is a small device, which you plug into your PC and then run along lines of text. It transfers text directly to your system.

Because it is designed for use on short, clear text documents, results are impressively accurate – although you'll need to use a steady hand. Wobbling leads to poor results. The Executive version we reviewed includes a text-to-speech engine that will read back text to you, as well as barcode recognition and hand-printed number recognition.

The IRISPen offers multiline scanning to remember a few lines at a time, so you can send paragraphs of text to your PC. With a light and ergonomic design it was comfortable to use.

IRISPen Executive: Specs

  • 166MHz Intel Pentium/AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP
  • 16MB RAM
  • 30MB hard disk space
  • USB port
  • 166MHz Intel Pentium/AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP
  • 16MB RAM
  • 30MB hard disk space
  • USB port

OUR VERDICT

The IRISPen Executive is an expensive, niche tool, but if you need a handheld scanner then it's the most versatile option on the market.

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